Fare thee well 2013!

1. Modern Baby quilt book, 2. art-gallery-fabrics-indie-star-quilt, 3. handmade-quilted-bag-pellon, 4. amy-smart-double-crossed-summer-quilt, 5. free-quilt-tutorial-pattern, 6. Dresden-blocks-american-jane-fabric, 7. The Sewing Summit 2013, 8. patchwork-pumpkin-table-runner-tutorial, 9. Free Jelly Roll Quilt pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop, 10. modern-quilt-red-cross, 11. Art Gallery Fabric Color Me Retro Quilt, 12. Virtual Quilting Bee Block 1, 13. union-jack-tote-bag pattern, 14. quilts, 15. kona-solids-quilt-blocks-tutorial, 16. Modern Maples Oakshott Rubies, 17. Red and white Christmas pillows handmade, 18. Wee Wander Free-crib-quilt pattern, 19. mini-hexagon-quilt-flowers, 20. Riley-Blake-Union-jack-crib-quilt-tutorial

It’s that time of year again. The end of an old year and time to make another mosaic of past projects. I must admit I kind of like doing this at the end of the year. Makes me look back and feel productive. I will give 2013 props – it has been a good year. A little crazier in some respects than I’d expected, but here we are at the end of it and we’re hanging in there.

I’m looking forward to 2014. I have some fun goals and plans in the works and I’m excited to see how they all develop. I’m sure 2014 will have it’s share of curve balls as well. In the mean time, a huge thank you for stopping by this blog. The encouragement I receive here is amazing. Thank you!

And now a question for you: What would you like to see more of in the quilt blog world in 2014?

Also, don’t forget, lots of year-end fabric sales end today. There are still good deals to be had from shops like Cuts of CottonPink Castle Fabrics, Southern FabricsJAQS fabrics, Honey Be Good, Mad About Patchwork, and Bloomerie fabrics.

Wrapping Up Christmas

A few images of Christmas this year. I don’t have anything new or too thought provoking to share. But I do have a few thoughts that have been on my mind and I figure I might as well make a record of them.
I had the usual plans to get a lot of Christmas sewing done this year. One thing I’ve wanted to make forever is a tree skirt for our family room tree. There are patterns for so many cute pieced Tree-Skirts but I knew this would not be the year. Then I had a brilliant “a-ha” moment.
Last year I bought this great piece of red with white polka-dot fabric from Ikea, not really having a plan for it. I came across it earlier this month when I was looking for some other reds and realized it would be the perfect tree skirt – it was nice and wide with no piecing required. Since time seems to be my scarcest resource at the moment, I took the 60″ x 60″ piece to my friend Monica and had her stipple the whole thing. Plus she does a much more beautiful job than I would have.
I then cut a 45″ circle from the quilted piece to create the tree skirt, made a slit up one side with a circle for the trunk, added some red gingham bias binding. (For finishing a curved edge, only bias binding will work because it will stretch.) Who doesn’t love a good red and white gingham? I mean, what’s more classic than that?
I was also able to get a table runner and enough for two throw pillows from that same quilted piece of red and white dots! Feeling quite chuffed about it too. So while I didn’t get much other sewing done, I did get the bindings put on the tree skirt and the table runner while watching Elf. The pillows will have to wait until later, but I’ll keep them out with my other red and white pillows through February, so they’ll get their turn.
It has been an unusually busy Christmas season this year. I know I mentioned last summer that I have a somewhat demanding responsibility at church right now. 
This year I’ve also been trying to help my kids do random acts of kindness as their countdown to Christmas and as their “birthday presents to Jesus“. This has been one of the busiest Decembers I can remember. But my plan has worked. As I have consciously chosen to focus on acts of kindness, often setting aside my “to-do” list, and letting myself just help where it was needed that day, I have found the most beautiful Christmas spirit. It has made it a really special season this year.
I have also been trying to do a better job of recognizing the kindnesses given to me and my love ones, as well as the people I cross paths with. One example came as I went to pull out my Christmas ornaments. I found some ornaments (including this vintage glass Santa and the Swiss Frohes Fest) that were sent to me by just kind and thoughtful readers of my blog last year when talked about my love for vintage glass ornaments and collecting ornaments from other countries. What sweet gestures!
Thanks to all of you who are so generous with your support through kind and encouraging comments, and for just stopping by to say Hello! I feel continually blessed by the amazing and kind people found in this community.
I’m going to take the next week off to hang out with these guys as well as other extended family, maybe watch White Christmas a few more times, and take a nap or two. I hope you can do the same.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with those you love. Sending lots of love to you all from our house to yours!

A little British Fun and Keeping Christmas

Me and my Union Jack quilt

A few fun little announcements. Fat Quarterly (the online quilting magazine) has hosted a Quilting retreat in London during the past two summers. They just announced the teachers for the retreat this summer and guess who is going: Me!!!! Woohoo! I about died when I saw the list of others who will be teaching. They have n fantastic line-up this year. Including the amazing Jen Kingwell.  I feel a little like a
poser in comparison. I may have a Wayne and Garth “Not Worthy” moment when I get there.

retreat2014

BUT I’m beyond excited and still pinching myself a little bit. I still can’t believe that I’m going to visit my favorite city in the world – London. Plus I can hardly wait to meet some of my UK peeps in real life. So much to look forward to! EEEeeek.

In other random, and British-related fun – I found out that Love Patchwork & Quilting generously featured this blog in a little blurb in their latest issue. (Pardon the picture quality. I pilfered this pic from Lori Holt who was kind enough to alert me.) What a lovely thing! Thank you Love Patchwork & Quilting!

Love Patchwork and Quilting is a relatively new quilting magazine out of the UK that definitely feels fresh and modern. To give you an idea, Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew made this quilt for last month’s issue. If you want to check it out, LP&Q is offering a special trial subscription of 3 magazines for only $10. Details here.

And in other random, less-exciting news. Christmas is 5 days away. Holy Moley. This month has been crazy. I think I am finally getting my act together, but my front room looked just like this for 2 weeks. 

Many projects are simply not going to get done, but I have wanted to make a tree skirt for our bigger, family-room Christmas tree for years. This is the year I am bound (har, har, no pun intended) to get one done. Think anyone will notice if it still has binding clips on it? (I found the red dot fabric at Ikea last year. My friend Monica did the stippling for me.) Hopefully by Monday it will be officially finished and I’ll post some better pictures.
I’m trying to do a better job to not getting harried by all the “to-do” lists of Christmas and just enjoy the moments. Yesterday was the Elementary school Christmas concert and my girls piano recital at a nursing home, interspersed with waiting in line for 45 minutes at the Post Office and trying to finish Christmas shopping. Fortunately the spirit of the sweet, musical moments dominated the other mundane stuff. And even in line at the Post Office and some other stores, I was touched by the cheerfulness and generosity of my fellow-folks-in-line. Three cheers for the best parts of Christmas.

Gift Certificate Giveaway from Southern Fabrics

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Today I have a super generous giveaway from online fabric shop, Southern Fabrics. Southern Fabrics operates out of Georgia and ships all over the world. They carry a great variety of lots of the latest popular fabric collections. Including:

and Alchemy, Amy Butler’s latest collection for Westminster. Lots of vibrant color. I really like Joel Dewberry’s latest True Colors for the same reason.

Right now Southern Fabrics is having lots of sales including 30%-40% off some great collections like Simply Color, French General, and some classics like Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane and Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom at really good prices.

Today Aubrey of Southern Fabrics is giving away a $50 gift certificate to one of you lucky ducks. To enter, take a quick trip to Southern Fabrics and come back here to leave a comment telling me something you love. Giveaway open through Saturday, Dec 21 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.
I really like Amy Butlers fabric line Lark! As always her fabrics are wonderful and are always hard for me not to buy each and every color and style in this line:-)
Thanks for the chance at your giveaway!!
*Jessica
To keep current on Southern Fabrics latest arrivals and sales, I highly suggest you follow them on Facebook, the Southern Fabrics blog, or twitter. And stay tuned for the end of the year Clearance Sale starting Dec 21 where you can save as much as 50%!